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Looking for a better saddle..

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Looking for a better saddle..

Old 06-17-11, 06:44 AM
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sharrn
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Looking for a better saddle..

I built up a Giant TCR C2 with new 105 group stuff, I like the seat that I have - Avenir 200 or something, but it's off my commuter, I want a seat just for this bike.. I'm starting to get a bit more serious into cycling now. I did 55ish miles on a ride last weekend.. My friend in Portland swears by the Selle Italia, I'm looking around $100 or so, maybe less, I'm 5'8 and 150lbs and in good shape. I understand so far that it's kind of a test ride situation... I'm not sure how I'd go about testing a seat before I buy though
Thanks in advance.
 
Old 06-17-11, 06:53 AM
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What's your question?

Basically you have two options.

First - you can buy from a bike shop. Some bike shops will be able to measure your sit bones and recommend a saddle based on that. Most will let you test ride / buy with the option to swap out for another one. The downside to this is that you'll pay retail - probably 2x as much as you'd pay on eBay.

Second - you can buy saddles cheaper through a non-returnable source (e.g., ebay, Craigslist), and buy/sell until you find one you like. If you're trying to build up a nice bike, people around here often choose either the Fizik Arione or the Specialized Toupe. The deal with these is you'll love one and hate the other. I love my arione.

Last edited by yzeater; 06-17-11 at 06:58 AM.
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Old 06-17-11, 06:56 AM
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I love Specialized saddles...really I love that they size you and have a good return policy in case the chosen saddle doesn't fit you the way you want. You need to remember that different saddles, even in the same width will feel different.
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Old 06-17-11, 06:59 AM
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Also, you could buy this: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...icro-Wedge-Bag
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Old 06-17-11, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by sharrn View Post
Uhh. I want an opinion on what I should look for in a new saddle. How do I go about finding one that fits/is comfortable etc.. I'm vaguely familiar with seat sizing here. like I said previously, I'm just starting to get a little more serious about cycling. The title of this thread should answer the question/info in the thread should "hopefully" give enough info to get started. My bad if I didn't post something like: "I've got $100 to blow, what seat should I buy?"
See my reply above.
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Old 06-17-11, 07:27 AM
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Fizik Arione...best saddle I've ever straddled. Your milage may vary...
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Old 06-17-11, 07:49 AM
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My bad for being a total ****** in replying to my own thread. I'm good at effing these things up. Advice still welcome if possible. Thanks for the advice so far.
 
Old 06-17-11, 11:26 AM
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Selle San Marco is also good quality, very comparable to Selle Italia.
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Old 06-17-11, 11:33 AM
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Well you can't go wrong with a Brooks but if you ride in the rain or are looking for light, The Selle Italia is nice.
I have both and love em.
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Old 06-17-11, 11:41 AM
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I have gone through five saddles trying to find one that works for me. Some of these saddles were ones that are typically recommended for comfort but they didn't work for me. You need to find a bike shop that will let you try a few different saddles and you need to put more than 20 miles on a saddle to determine if it will work for you.

My problem is that I get numbness from saddles as they cut off blood flow. I need a saddle that has a wide cut out. The only saddle I have found that works for me so far is SMP and they are not cheap. I paid $180 for my SMP saddle but it works for me.
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Old 06-17-11, 11:51 AM
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Do not trust anyone who says "XXXXX" is the best saddle. It's very individualized.

Sorry but that's the way it is.
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Old 06-17-11, 06:09 PM
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Most Selle Italia models are of a fairly narrow width, around 130mm. If you get the Specialized "ass-ometer" sit bones measurement done, it will tell you roughly what width you need. (Specialized saddles for men come in 130, 143, and 155mm widths, if I recall right.)

Selle Italia does make a couple of models that are wider, but check out their website for dimensions. I have an Selle Italia Prolink model, which I chose because it came in a 144 (or so) width. I think their Max version Flite saddle (Maxflite?) is even wider, at around 155mm.

I was experiencing numbness with a 130mm saddle - adding just 14mm of width made all the difference in the world. YMMV, etc.
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Old 06-17-11, 06:29 PM
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I love my new Fizik Antares saddle. Much much more comfortable than the Fizik Arione I had on my Cervelo R3. The Antares is slighty wider (~143mm), but it was enough to make all the difference for me. I also have a Prologo Scratch Pro TS saddle that I haven't had the opportunity to use yet. The dimensions are very similar to the Antares, but it has a tad more padding. It looks like a great saddle as well.

Saddles are a very personal thing. Besides trying random saddles I highly recommend going to a Specialized dealer and having them measure your sit bones with their little measuring tool thingy. This will at least tell you what width of saddle you should be looking for. Beyond this it's mostly trial and error. I found that I like flatter saddles where the nose slopes down a bit. It also has to have the right amount of padding. Not too much and not too little. Again, it's all trial and error after you have determined your width.
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Old 06-17-11, 06:50 PM
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I just got a Fizi:k Arione last week and I LOVE it. That being said, saddles are extremely personal, so go test some out and find the one that fits you best.
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Old 06-17-11, 07:01 PM
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As datlas said, a comfortable saddle is an individual thing. Having said that there is a thread here at BF in regards to the Selle Anatomcia saddle, and all had good reviews. The one complaint was that it squeaked, but that is easily fixable it seems with a small gasket. The downside is it's cost is a bit more than you had mentioned.
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Old 06-17-11, 07:02 PM
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Arione is the best. Those who do not say so are kidding themselves and you. The sitbone excuse is a bit tired.
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Old 06-17-11, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Northwestrider View Post
As datlas said, a comfortable saddle is an individual thing. Having said that there is a thread here at BF in regards to the Selle Anatomcia saddle, and all had good reviews. The one complaint was that it squeaked, but that is easily fixable it seems with a small gasket. The downside is it's cost is a bit more than you had mentioned.
I have a lot of experience with the Selle Anatomica saddle. I rode with one for two years and have a few of them still. It was the most comfortable saddle on the sit bones but I would still get pain in the perineum nerve and I also has the squeak problem which I was never able to resolve. I use to ride with the designer of the saddle, Tom Milton, but he died last year or I would have asked him for a solution to the squeaking problem.

I ended up changing the saddle because of numbness. The SMP saddle isn't as easy on the sit bones but is easier on the perineum. I have wondered if I were to enlarge the cut on in the Selle Anatomica's saddle if that would have solved the problem.
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Old 06-17-11, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by bostongarden View Post
Arione is the best. Those who do not say so are kidding themselves and you. The sitbone excuse is a bit tired.
Not true. Antares is better, but there are other nice saddles out there too.
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Old 06-17-11, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by ilovecycling View Post
Not true. Antares is better, but there are other nice saddles out there too.
I just bought an Antares too (mostly because it looks an awful lot like a Toupe, which I loved), but it's impossible to say one is "better" than the other. They're designed for different styles of riding/body types/flexibility levels.
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Old 06-17-11, 09:04 PM
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Thanks for all the advice. I don't think I'd need something very wide as I'm not a big person. I'm 5'8" and 150lbs. I really like the look of the Selle Italia Flite Gel Flow. It's a bit more expensive than the $100, but there's multiple options on Ebay. I may give this one a shot and see how it goes..
 
Old 06-17-11, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by sharrn View Post
Thanks for all the advice. I don't think I'd need something very wide as I'm not a big person. I'm 5'8" and 150lbs. I really like the look of the Selle Italia Flite Gel Flow. It's a bit more expensive than the $100, but there's multiple options on Ebay. I may give this one a shot and see how it goes..
At that price point, buy the regular ti-railed Toupe from a Specialized dealer who will take it back if you don't like it. Just because you're skinny doesn't mean it's easy to find a comfy saddle.
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Old 06-17-11, 09:14 PM
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All asses are different. Find a shop with an assometer, no really. this will give you an indication of your sit bone width. the shop can then recomend an appropriate saddle for your width. After that its just trial and error. good luck.
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Old 06-17-11, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbon Unit View Post
I also has the squeak problem which I was never able to resolve. I use to ride with the designer of the saddle, Tom Milton, but he died last year or I would have asked him for a solution to the squeaking problem.
If your not using the SA then maybe you have no need to call, but I talked with a lady that picked up the phone when I called the number listed on the Selle Anatomica web page, she describe the fix for the squeak. So if you are interested, it might be worth a call to her. Please let us know if you do and whether it works out or not, as I'm about to order one for my wife fairly soon. My question if I place an order will be, is the fix incorporated in their newer saddles. I'd think it would be no matter if it were easy or not.
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Old 06-17-11, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by DC_United_Fan View Post
Fizik Arione...best saddle I've ever straddled. Your milage may vary...
+10000
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Old 06-18-11, 01:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Northwestrider View Post
If your not using the SA then maybe you have no need to call, but I talked with a lady that picked up the phone when I called the number listed on the Selle Anatomica web page, she describe the fix for the squeak. So if you are interested, it might be worth a call to her. Please let us know if you do and whether it works out or not, as I'm about to order one for my wife fairly soon. My question if I place an order will be, is the fix incorporated in their newer saddles. I'd think it would be no matter if it were easy or not.
I might call her anyway to find out what the fix is. I use to spray a lubricant on the adjustment bolt on the front of the saddle and it would help for a short time but the squeak would come back. I have a box in my garage full of saddles and including the SA saddle.

Without a doubt the SA was the easiest saddle on the sit bones that I have tried. So, I highly recommended it for anyone that doesn't have a numbness problem.
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